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Rights Activists

September 26, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Two police officers in Kazan, Russia, were sentenced to less than three years in prison Tuesday after the first convictions in a high-profile case that involved the illegal detention and death of a resident. Human rights activists complained that the sentences were too short to discourage abuses by police. Officers Ilshat Garifullin and Ramil Nigmatzyanov received sentences of 2 1/2 and two years, respectively, for exceeding their authority after the court determined that they illegally arrested Sergei Nazarov on March 9. Investigators allege that on the night of the arrest, Nazarov, 52, was beaten and sexually assaulted by colleagues of the two officers.
February 26, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - In a victory hailed by gay rights advocates, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have bolstered a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others on the basis of religion. The veto, delivered the same day a federal judge struck down a law against same-sex marriage in Texas, came amid an intense national outcry by the gay community, its supporters, business owners and Arizona political leaders. "Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona," Brewer said in televised remarks from Phoenix.
August 19, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Japanese police obtained arrest warrants against three activists from the U.S.-based animal rights group Sea Shepherd on allegations that they attacked Japanese whaling ships last year, a news report said. Tokyo District Court approved the arrest warrants, Kyodo News agency said. Neither the court nor the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department confirmed the report. The aim of the warrants was to place the two Americans, ages 41 and 30, and a 28-year-old Briton on an international wanted list, Kyodo said.
February 26, 2014
Chokwe Lumumba, 66, a human rights activist and nationally prominent attorney who became mayor of Jackson, Miss., last year, died Tuesday at a Jackson hospital, city officials said. The cause wasn't immediately clear. As an attorney, Lumumba represented Tupac Shakur in cases including one in which the rapper was cleared of aggravated assault in the shootings of two off-duty police officers who were visiting Atlanta from another city when they were wounded. Shakur died in 1996. Lumumba also represented Lance Parker, one of the defendants in the attack on truck driver Reginald O. Denny at the beginning of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
July 26, 2011 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Roula Hajjar, Los Angeles Times
When Iranian activist-lawyer Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, human rights activists cheered. Here was a chance for Iranians to rally around a figure for political change and reform much as Poles rallied around Lech Walesa and Burmese around Aung San Suu Kyi, both fellow laureates. Eight years later, the small cadre of attorneys close to Ebadi and the organization she started with her prize money, the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, are either in jail or threatened with legal action.
December 16, 1987 | WILLIAM TUOHY, Times Staff Writer
A group of human rights activists said Tuesday that they have managed to complete a six-day seminar on the subject despite government harassment. "Much serious work was done," Lev Timofeyev, who organized the seminar, told reporters. "We have tried to raise the consciousness of human rights in Soviet and world opinion." Timofeyev said that about 400 people took part and that about 200 reports were heard at the seminar, which was called by Press Club Glasnost.
April 23, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Masked men claiming to be anti-communist vigilantes abducted five Philippine human rights activists, two of whom were found dead, officials said. Police rescued the others. The activists were abducted in Naujan in Mindoro Oriental province, about 90 miles southeast of Manila, after their 12-member team conducted a probe into alleged abuses by the military in the area. An activist blamed the abductions and slayings on the military, which denied involvement.
January 22, 1991 | From Times Wire Services
Six people ordered out of China after attempting to attend the trials of pro-democracy demonstrators left the country today without incident. The human rights activists who were told to leave China were detained for about five hours Monday and questioned about their activities in Beijing. Norman Quan, a Chinese passport-holder living in Los Angeles, was told that he had violated the laws of China.
March 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Infuriated sealers trying to fend off animal rights activists flung seal guts at an inflatable boat filled with protesters as Canada's annual hunt began on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. "They threw carcasses at our Zodiac," said Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society. The fishermen in the area's isolated island communities say the hunt supplements their meager winter incomes.
February 20, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON -- Say a gay couple in Phoenix walks into a bakery to order their wedding cake. The baker refuses to take their order because of his deeply held religious beliefs. Under a measure that passed the Arizona Legislature this week, the baker would have greater protection to invoke religion to shield himself from a discrimination lawsuit. The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, would bolster a business owner's right to refuse service to gays and others if the owner believes doing so violates the practice and observance of his or her religion.
January 7, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - Before WikiLeaks, before Edward Snowden, and before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks turned most government offices into fortresses, there were eight people with suitcases who broke into an FBI office housed in a suburban apartment building. They knew the building superintendent would be preoccupied that night. Like millions of Americans on March 8, 1971, he was next to his radio, transfixed by the "Fight of the Century" between heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and challenger Muhammad Ali. They stuffed the luggage full of documents, which within days were slipped into large envelopes headed for the desks of journalists, politicians and activists.
December 20, 2013 | Jason Felch
Occidental College has been barraged with bogus allegations of sexual assault in recent days after two groups, one claiming to represent "men's rights," set out to undermine the school's anonymous reporting system, a college spokesman said. Shortly after members of the online communities Reddit and 4Chan began discussing the idea late Monday, Occidental spokesman Jim Tranquada said, the campus was flooded with reports -- some by people who claimed to have been assaulted by "Occidental College," "feminists" or "Fatty McFatFat.
December 10, 2013 | By Anh Do
Vietnamese American activists say they will ask Westminster officials to block organizers from staging the colorful Tet parade because they refuse to allow gays to participate in the Lunar New Year event. Parade organizers barred LGBT individuals from marching in the 2013 event and last month voted to ban them again from the upcoming parade. Shunned by one of the community's signature events, many of the gay rights activists stood along the parade route to protest their ouster. Inspired by the activism, they formed Viet Rainbow of Orange County and plan to lobby Westminster council members Wednesday to intervene in what they say is outright discrimination.
October 27, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum
THABYUCHAING, Myanmar - U Abdul Samat spent his life farming the rice paddies that stretched, brilliant green, in all directions. Now he was nearly 90 years old, a great-grandfather who walked with a cane. He was also a Muslim, and the men who stormed his village with machetes were Buddhists looking for Muslims to kill. As the mob set fire to more than 100 homes not marked with a Buddhist flag, Abdul's neighbors took cover at the mosque. But Abdul wasn't quick enough. According to a survivor, the old man was killed by an assailant who swung a heavy sword into the back of his head.
October 17, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Getting unanimous U.N. Security Council agreement to act against rogue nations and rights abusers may have become even more difficult Thursday with the election of Chad and Saudi Arabia to seats on the influential 15-member panel, human rights advocates said. Chad made the United Nation's "list of shame" again this year over allegations of conscription and deployment of child soldiers, and Saudi Arabia is a recurring target of criticism by rights champions for denying women the right to vote, drive or travel without permission of male relatives.
October 10, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Every year, the day sneaks on up Judy Shepard to deliver its sucker punch from the past: The 12th of October. The day Matthew died. "It hits you and you say to yourself: Oh, this is the day," she says. "This is why I feel so terrible. " Fifteen years ago this week, gay college student Matthew Shepard was pistol-whipped and left for dead: unconscious, barely alive, lashed to a jagged wooden fence outside this small prairie city by two men disgusted by his homosexuality.
August 26, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
For the Oxford-born, Nigeria-raised David Oyelowo, the last few years have been a profoundly deep - and sometimes harrowing - dive into the African American experience. The actor has played a Tuskegee airman in George Lucas' "Red Tails," a U.S. cavalryman in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," and a Southern preacher in "The Help. " But things really got intense when he had to endure abuse at a segregated lunch counter and mobs of Klansmen for his part as a civil rights activist in "Lee Daniels' The Butler.
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